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Family Quits City Life to Live Off-Grid in a Yurt!

Lucy from Lulastic Hippyshake lives fully off-grid in New Zealand in this stunning yurt with her husband and two children.


Image © Lucy AitkenRead from Lulastic Hippyshake

They built a loft that was originally meant to be their sleeping area, but it was too loud when it rained so they moved the bedroom underneath the loft, and the upstairs is now the kids play area.

Image © Lucy AitkenRead from Lulastic Hippyshake


They’ve decorated the yurt with mostly vintage, thrifted, and second hand furniture which gives the interior a comfortable and welcoming feel.

Image © Lucy AitkenRead from Lulastic Hippyshake

Lucy and Tim currently split the parenting in half, which gives them the opportunity to work on their projects the rest of the time. For Lucy that’s freelance writing and creating videos for YouTube. For Tim, it’s getting a new farm up and running.

To learn more about this family’s off-grid adventure, check out the profile video below!

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Danielle Chabassol
Danielle is a digital nomad who is passionate about tiny spaces, living with less, reducing waste and eating plant-based food. Danielle is half of the Exploring Alternatives blog & video project. You can find more of her at www.ExploringAlternatives.ca and her Exploring Alternatives YouTube Channel.




{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Carol Perry November 6, 2017, 12:39 pm

    Hi Lucy, I enjoyed Your Video immensely! I was never big into yurts! But I love what You & Your Husband did for the one you designed! You seem like YOU have a lot of room. You let your imagination go wild and you created a warm and cozy, and inviting home! I love the girls play area and the fact that you Home School especially where your children have the chance to bond with Nature! Your Home must be nice & warm in the winter! That was a great idea to put your bedroom downstairs, away from any noise! I like the fact that you have all that room in your lounge & your kitchen!
    Your farm & garden is just gorgeous! I love how you are surrounded with all that lush green grass! Before I forget Your Children are adorable!
    Thank You! For sharing & I enjoyed Your tour of Your Lovely Home!🐕🐓🐏🐐🐄🐄🐄🐂🐂🐂

  • Diane the Designer November 6, 2017, 4:56 pm

    These will be special memories for your children someday. Taking the plunge and doing something completely off the beaten path forces them to think for solutions to basic needs questions. They will forge a deep bond by relying on each other without all the distraction of commercial enterprises trying to sell them something. Back to the important things of food, clothing, school and love. Best of all Parents that love them and love each other. Your house is just adorable. Enjoy it and your time together.

    • Kurt November 9, 2017, 1:27 am

      School…important? I’d say the love of learning is important. In my experience, school did not contribute much, if anything, to my love of learning. My love of learning blossomed when I became an adult.

  • Diana November 7, 2017, 3:04 am

    Cattle????
    Hard to believe your a writer from the way you express yourself. Seems like an advert for their Airbnb.
    Unschooling? Sorry i dont get it. Im from the 60/70s and i did very conscious things. This seems lazy to me.

    • Kathy Bolyard November 7, 2017, 10:33 am

      Such random things from peolpe who think they are so smart that they offer an opinion on something they know nothing about. Answer me back in some big equations or something so we all know how truely smart you are. SO RANDOM DUDE… And why?

    • redfish November 7, 2017, 1:01 pm

      *You are

    • Lori November 7, 2017, 2:23 pm

      Diana,
      Please learn to control your outbursts as they only make yourself look bad. Not everyone will live up to your standards and that is OK. It is their choice. There is nothing to be angry about here.

      • Diana Angell November 7, 2017, 3:21 pm

        Censorship? I have a right to my opinion. You just dont comprehend.

        • James D. November 7, 2017, 6:01 pm

          Being criticized for your opinion is not censorship… It’s just other people having their own opinions on your opinion, which they have just as much right to voice.

          Actual censorship would be editing or deleting your post, which no one is doing here.

          So the term you’re actually looking for is peer pressure… When a majority opinion is against your opinion then you are being pressured by your peers to change your opinion.

          Though, this does brings to mind the old golden rule of treating others how you want to be treated.

          Everything we do or say has consequences and that’s just the reality of life and how social interaction actually works.

          Besides, anyone can be a writer and there’s actually no specific type of person or behavior to expect from them than any other person.

          Many writers can even be terrible spellers or have imperfect grammar, which is why editors are usually gainfully employed in most publishing companies.

          Besides, to err is human and no one is perfect 100% of the time. Thus one must be constantly aware of unrealistic expectations and erroneously assumed information when dealing with others… Along with the inherent propensity for using bias rather than logical analysis that can lead us to far worse than simple misunderstandings…

          Regardless, in all of this what’s really more important… Some details you may disagree on or whether they’re living the life they want to have and are truly healthy and happy with their choices?

          In a world full to the brim with pain and suffering, which do you honestly believe should actually take priority?

  • PETER November 7, 2017, 2:54 pm

    I have two concerns:
    1. Not enough privacy for the kids. The two girls will grow up fast…
    2. Lack of socialization in homeschooling

    • James D. November 7, 2017, 5:23 pm

      You can actually expand a Yurt… Nothing stopping them from adding an extension that’ll serve as a separate room for the girls when they get older.

      Or, since they have plenty of property to use, the girls can have their own dwellings for even more privacy.

      While, so long as they have the Internet they don’t technically have to be isolated. Kids can have online friends and do online activities together.

      It also doesn’t mean they will never go anywhere and never meet other people.

    • Kurt November 9, 2017, 1:31 am

      “Lack of socialization…” You mean brainwashing. These kids will turn out to be much better than if they had been “socialized” in a typical school environment.

      • Eric November 20, 2017, 5:47 am

        …not to mention bullying. Wow, that is something that is sooooo rife in New Zealand. And, being a New Zealander, I can personally vouch for that. Would not be an understatement to say that home schooled kids generally have better educational achievements than mainstream schooled kids. The explore. They enquire. They… well, generally self educate. And in the process become not only well rounded educationally, but as people too. They look after the downtrodden… and those who cannot look after themselves.

  • redfish November 7, 2017, 3:04 pm

    Personally, I would not want to live in a yurt with 2 kids. It is too open. (Again IMHO!)

  • George Guthridge November 7, 2017, 5:42 pm

    First, the little girl’s pose is classic! I remember back in the ’50s when I had to squint into the sun while my father constantly fiddled with his camera. Tears would run down my face as I tried to hold my smile! Some of my fondest memories . . . then he died very suddenly when I was 13.

    About homeschooling: The socialization thing is vastly over-rated. I taught high school for nine years and have taught college for 33. Some of my best students in college were home-schooled. They ease right into the socialization of the university. Most students who struggle are the ones who still think they are still in high school and are going to try to “play” the system. Home-schooled kids don’t have that habit. The only time I have had a problem with a home-schooled student was one who came from such a fundamentally religious family that she could not accept history if it wasn’t in the Bible. She dropped out rather than accepting other viewpoints.

    Finally, I think the yurt is stunning. Great job! And IMHO the kids aren’t a problem. Just build two small yurts and then connect them via a short hallway to the main yurt. That gives everyone privacy. After all, a team of four people can build the flooring of a yurt in a day and easily put up a small yurt in a weekend. The only thing that will take time is if you want the kids to have their own bathroom(s).

  • Michael L November 7, 2017, 10:42 pm

    For heavens sake please spare us all of your editorials, James D! You need your own newsletter or blog.

    • Eric November 20, 2017, 5:52 am

      James, take no notice. If they don’t like what they see they can move on. Simple really isn’t it?

      I like different viewpoints. Some I agree with, others I don’t, vehemently so in some cases. But they are always thought provoking…

  • Kurt November 9, 2017, 1:23 am

    Loved the video and I enjoyed Lucy’s energy and enthusiasm. I also love to hear the British accent. I’m fascinated by stories of people who pickup and go somewhere without much planning. Seems like Tim, Lucy, and the kids have an idyllic life. Something interesting to research: yurt lifespan.

  • Stefan seville November 13, 2017, 9:38 pm

    I love what your doing! We live in an R.V and we also love it but a bit cramped,anyway we are also going to do the off grid in 3 yrs from now, but in Arizona, U.S.A. Anyway I hope to see a lot more! And thank you for sharing!😁

  • Rusty November 13, 2017, 9:44 pm

    Thank you Lucy for sharing. I like that you shared the challenges of living in
    a yurt. It takes courage to do what you have done and I applaud you. My grandkids were home schooled and most went on to earn degrees. They are outgoing and very comfortable in a social setting.
    Your home is warm and welcoming and your children are fortunate to be able to enjoy the beauty of nature every day.

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